Wednesday 7 February 2024

US Army to Boost Bradley Protection with Iron Fist Active Protection System

US Army to Boost Bradley Protection with Iron Fist Active Protection System

Washington D.C., February 7, 2024 - The U.S. Army has taken a significant step towards bolstering the survivability of its Bradley infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) by issuing a pre-solicitation contract to General Dynamics for an eight-year upgrade program. The centerpiece of this modernization effort is the integration of the Israeli-made Iron Fist Active Protection System (APS) developed by Elbit Systems.

This upgrade, targeting a total of 1,242 Bradleys across nine Army brigades, signifies a renewed focus on protecting frontline troops from evolving battlefield threats. "The Iron Fist represents a leap forward in safeguarding our soldiers," commented [insert official source and quote about the importance of the upgrade].

Iron Fist: A Shield Against Modern Threats

The Iron Fist APS is a second-generation system utilizing a combination of advanced technology to detect and neutralize incoming projectiles. Its core components include:

  • Active Electronically Scanned Array Radar: This radar scans the surrounding area, pinpointing incoming threats like anti-tank missiles, rocket-propelled grenades, and high-explosive anti-tank ammunition.
  • Optional Passive Infrared Detector: This secondary sensor further enhances threat detection, especially in situations where radar performance might be degraded.
  • Lightweight Explosive Projectile Interceptors: Upon detecting a threat, the system launches these interceptors to detonate it at a safe distance from the vehicle, minimizing damage.

Enhanced Situational Awareness for Crew Safety

The upgrade program goes beyond just the Iron Fist integration. It also includes the addition of a Commander's Independent Viewer (CIV) equipped with an infrared camera. This 360-degree view provides crucial situational awareness to the vehicle commander, aiding in target acquisition and overall mission effectiveness.

Looking Ahead: Gradual Deployment and Future Plans

The initial phase of the program will prioritize Bradleys deployed in Europe, reflecting the Army's commitment to ensuring the safety of troops stationed in potential high-threat environments. While General Dynamics is the current frontrunner, the pre-solicitation process leaves room for other companies to compete for the final contract.

This Bradley upgrade marks a significant investment in modernizing a key armored vehicle platform. With the Iron Fist's active protection and the enhanced situational awareness provided by the CIV, the Army aims to ensure its Bradleys and their crews remain formidable and well-protected in the face of ever-evolving threats.

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